Recognizing group cognition

Cognitive Systems Research 11 (4):378-395 (2010)
Abstract
In this paper, we approach the idea of group cognition from the perspective of the “extended mind” thesis, as a special case of the more general claim that systems larger than the individual human, but containing that human, are capable of cognition (Clark, 2008; Clark & Chalmers, 1998). Instead of deliberating about “the mark of the cognitive” (Adams & Aizawa, 2008), our discussion of group cognition is tied to particular cognitive capacities. We review recent studies of group problem-solving and group memory which reveal that specific cognitive capacities that are commonly ascribed to individuals are also aptly ascribed at the level of groups. These case studies show how dense interactions among people within a group lead to both similarity-inducing and differentiating dynamics that affect the group's ability to solve problems. This supports our claim that groups have organization-dependent cognitive capacities that go beyond the simple aggregation of the cognitive capacities of individuals. Group cognition is thus an emergent phenomenon in the sense of Wimsatt (1986). We further argue that anybody who rejects our strategy for showing that cognitive properties can be instantiated at multiple levels in the organizational hierarchy on a priori grounds is a “demergentist,” and thus incurs the burden of proof for explaining why cognitive properties are “stuck” at a certain level of organizational structure. Finally, we show that our analysis of group cognition escapes the “coupling-constitution” charge that has been leveled against the extended mind thesis (Adams & Aizawa, 2008).
Keywords group cognition  distributed cognition  extended mind  emergence  collective intelligence  collective memory  collective problem-solving
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,365
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

View all 8 citations

Similar books and articles
Georg Theiner (forthcoming). A Beginner’s Guide to Group Minds. In Jesper Kallestrup & Mark Sprevak (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Mind. Palgrave Macmillan.
Robert A. Wilson (2001). Group-Level Cognition. Philosophy of Science 3 (September):S262-S273.
Shannon Spaulding (2012). Overextended Cognition. Philosophical Psychology 25 (4):469 - 490.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-05-30

Total downloads

4 ( #198,664 of 1,089,064 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #69,801 of 1,089,064 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.